The fear of the unknown could also be seen as a fear of failure. Let’s face it, the unknown may or may not work. That’s the biggest catch.

There are those, most of us even, that feel better living an easy convenient life void of too many surprises. Sometimes my life is like that because of anxiety.

However, there is a part of each and every one of us that wonders, “what if…” about many things. Be we’re afraid to touch the borders of that “what if” because we fear the unknown. It’s just that simple.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

-Robert Frost

The road less traveled is… less traveled

So many people stick with finishing college, going into a career, raising a family and so on. That is not the road in which I speak – the road overgrown with weeds and plagued with potholes is the one. The easy road is paved and well-kept –  it’s the one that most of us take.

So, ask yourself, if you don’t already know, are you suffering from this fear of the unknown?

Signs the fear of the unknown rules you

1. You’re settling

Do you know what I mean when I say, “to settle”? Well, it took a long time for me to understand the significance of this term. I’ve also “settled” many times in my life too.

Honestly, the majority of people who are settling don’t even know they’re committing the deed. They see their lives as being realistic, logical, and safe even. But if they’ve had dreams unfulfilled, things they wish they’d changed or turned their backs on things they wanted for something smaller, then they have settled.

It’s a sign that this settling has you stuck in a routine, and you’re really not happy. So, from this day forward, go for what you really want, and not what society wants for you.

2. You’re numbing yourself

To numb yourself, you can use alcohol, drugs, sex, television, or even work. Your purpose in life has been covered in this shield of numb protection. As long as you don’t think about the truth of how you feel, then you are safe.

The saddest thing about these things, which become addictions I might add, is that a part of you see these as entertainment. You feel good, you feel euphoric and comfortable, but deeper inside, your soul is slowly withering.

This is another way you will know. To stop this, you must face the root of what’s driving you toward wanting to be numb. That is where you start to resurrect the feeling back into your life. When you find what drove you inward, then face it head-on.

3. You become trapped

I realized at a certain point in my life that I was trapped. I won’t elaborate, but this feeling was so tangible I could almost see the emotions. After months of trying to rearrange things, make things better, and even communication endeavors, I understood that something had to change that was much larger than an adjustment.

At that realization, I became frozen, trapped at that moment. I could not make a huge decision that needed to be made. If you come to this point, you will also realize that the fear of things unknown is eroding your life.

It hurts, more than you think. It’s time to make those hard decisions. It’s going to be like pulling a bandaid off, but it will be worth it.

4. You stop retaliating

In a confrontation, timid people tend to stay quiet or just agree with the majority. The fear of what will happen terrifies them. Even if your integrity is at the stack, they will not speak up, or state what they truly believe in. If you’re doing this, you’re definitely terrified of the unknown consequences of your retaliation.

The truth is, your retaliation could bring about change, or even free you from an unhealthy situation. Yes, there is always a risk of danger, especially in abusive relationships, but at some point, you will have to speak up or get away. Getting away from a union like this would break a large portion of your fear of the unknown.

5.  You try to control everything

If you’re afraid of what you cannot see, hear, or what will happen, you will try to control all those things. This is an exhausting way of life. I know because I live it. I am working on myself, and how to relinquish control a bit at a time.

If you’ve done this your entire life, it’s hard to do, trust me. Although I know trust is healthy, the fear of negative things that might happen literally terrifies me. If you’re a control freak like I’ve been, then you are afraid. You are so afraid that everything in your life has been put into a little box, and you keep checking on it every few minutes.

Am I right? Here’s a thought, why no focus more on self-control so you don’t focus on controlling everything else.

6. You’re best friends with procrastination

I and procrastination are pretty good buddies. Motivation keeps trying to get me to hang out, but I usually make the excuse that I don’t feel well. This scenario shows just how procrastination would work as a person. It would be a lazy friend who loved to sit around and watch movies all day.

Motivation, on the other hand, would be jogging in place coaxing you to go outside for a while. Motivation might even go as far as trying to get you to change jobs, move, or end an unhealthy relationship, but procrastination tells you that it would hurt too much.

If you’re having this tug of war, then you are so afraid of what you don’t know. It’s sad, I get it. The only way to change this is to start.

7. Afraid to say what you mean

This is the breakdown: You’re afraid to say  “no” when you want to say “yes”, and you’re afraid to say “yes” when you want to say “no”. There are things you’ve thought of pursuing, but your fear makes you back out and deny the effort.

On the flip side, there are standards you’ve set for yourself, but your fear of rejection makes you agree to things you wouldn’t otherwise do. Both these situations spell a fear of the unknown. What can you do? You can start practicing saying exactly what you mean and what you feel. It’s liberating.

8. You’re unhealthy

Yes, you could have health problems for a number of reasons, and fear of making important decisions can be one of them. If you know there’s something in life that you want, but something else is holding you back, you will be torn. This feeling, if prolonged, can cause health problems to develop. Why?

It’s simply because the mind is so closely connected to the body. Your mental health greatly affects your physical health. Spend more time forcing yourself outside exercising and doing physical activities, things you may have enjoyed in the past. You would be surprised how much this can improve your health.

Take a chance, don’t be so afraid

Yeah, I know it sounds hypocritical from someone who struggles with the same issues sometimes, but this is what we must do. We must have more faith in ourselves, and do the things we really want to do. It’s time. It’s time to break out of that shell and say “Yes!” to that change and…

Take that road that many do not.

References:

  1. https://www.mindbodygreen.com
  2. https://www.talkspace.com
Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

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the power of misfits

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    JR

    Thank you for this

    1. Sherrie Hurd
      Sherrie Hurd

      You are welcome, JR. Thank you for reading. I hope all is well with you.

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